The Evening Blues - 3-29-16



eb1pt12


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues and r&b singer and guitarist, Tarheel Slim. Enjoy!

Tarheel Slim - No 9 Train

"The enormous gap between what US leaders do in the world and what Americans think their leaders are doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominate political mythology."

-- Michael Parenti


News and Opinion

FBI to Apple: Nevermind

'The FBI’s credibility just hit a new low. They repeatedly lied to the court and the public in pursuit of a dangerous precedent that would have made all of us less safe.'

Following a high-profile attempt by the FBI and Department of Justice to force Apple to hack its own security encryption features, the federal government threw in the towel on Monday as it announced that it had successfully accessed information on the iPhone belonging to one of the perpetrators of the mass shooting in San Bernadino, California late last year.

The case that became known as Apple vs. FBI, which pitched digital privacy and civil liberties advocates against the federal government, created an international stir as Apple challenged a court ruling demanding that it create code that would allow federal agents to get inside the locked phone of Syed Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people and wounded 22 others during a workplace shooting in December.

According to Fight for the Future, a digital and privacy rights group which helped lead opposition to the government's case and applauded Apple for standing firm against the court order, Monday's announcement should not come as a surprise given that the consensus among credible technical experts was always that the FBI always had likely other ways to bypass the iPhone’s security. The government’s real goal, according to the group, was not to access the data on one specific phone, but rather an effort to establish a legal precedent that could compel private companies to build backdoors into their products.

"The FBI’s credibility just hit a new low," said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. "They repeatedly lied to the court and the public in pursuit of a dangerous precedent that would have made all of us less safe. Fortunately, Internet users mobilized quickly and powerfully to educate the public about the dangers of backdoors, and together we forced the government to back down."


The FBI may have dropped one case against Apple, but the battle is far from over

The battle between the Department of Justice and Apple is far from over – it’s probably just begun. The agency merely dropped its most well-known case; there are at least a dozen other similar legal fights open against Apple around the country, and those are just the ones we know about.

So far, there is no evidence that the FBI plans on abandoning the others, despite the agency’s apparent new-found ability to break into at least some versions of the iPhone without Apple’s assistance. Judging by the statement released to the press on Monday night, it sounds like they plan on pressing forward even harder.

“It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety, either with cooperation from relevant parties, or through the court system when cooperation fails,” a justice department spokesman said. “We will continue to pursue all available options for this mission, including seeking the cooperation of manufacturers and relying upon the creativity of both the public and private sectors.” ...

Instead of attempting to ask Congress for a bill to ban the implementation of end-to-end encryption, which they probably know is a non-starter given public resistance, they may now be incentivized to take their fight even further into the shadows, using government secrecy to obscure their actions from the public. This is unfortunately the most likely scenario after their attempt to take this case to the public backfired so spectacularly. ...

Don’t be surprised if justice department instead attempts to keep future cases sealed from all but Apple’s lawyers, denying the public the right to even know that court battles are going on for as long as possible. Or perhaps they’ll go to the ultra-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court and demand the same thing, where they’re even more likely to be able to argue with no opposing side present and will all but ensure the public won’t find out what happened for years.

Greenwald: FBI-Apple Fight Tied to U.S. Effort to Access the Communications of Everyone Everywhere

Russia's campaign in Syria leads to arms sale windfall

The demonstration of Russian military might during Vladimir Putin’s air campaign in Syria has increased interest from arms buyers and could result in several billion dollars in new sales, analysts and media have said. ...

Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday that the “marketing effect” from the Syrian campaign could lead to contracts worth $6bn-$7bn, quoting sources in the Russian government, military and arms export structures. Algeria, Indonesia, Vietnam and even Pakistan, which has long purchased military aircraft from China and the US, intend to buy Sukhoi fighter and bomber jets, it reported. ...

Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said the Syria operation had affected Russian arms sales “extremely positively” by showing Moscow has effective weapons and can challenge western influence. “Russia basically proved it has political will, it has balls, because normally people don’t buy weapons from losers,” he said.

Will the Syrian Ceasefire End the US-Russia Proxy War?

ISIS Fight Against al-Qaeda Spills Over From Syria Into Lebanon

Heavy fighting erupted in the Syrian Qalamoun Mountains on Sunday, with ISIS pushing into regions held by al-Qaeda. The fighting raged into Monday, and moved further west, with both sides crossing into Lebanon, where al-Qaeda forces aimed to take ISIS territory along the border.

Lebanon has struggled with spill-over violence throughout the Syrian Civil War, with both ISIS and Nusra operating around the hills in the Bekaa Valley, and occasionally clashing with Lebanese security forces in the town of Arsal.

Oxfam Says US Not Doing Enough for Syrian Refugees

Efforts by the United States and other rich nations to resettle Syrians are devastatingly inadequate, said Oxfam International, which is asking countries attending the United Nations refugee conference this week to commit to open their doors to those fleeing the violence that has been intensified, largely, by their own failed policies in the Middle East. ...

According to an analysis (pdf) published by Oxfam on Tuesday, "Traditional resettlement countries like the U.S. are not pulling their weight" in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Since 2013, only 67,108 Syrians have been resettled. Meanwhile, there are more than 4.8 million Syrian migrants in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and elsewhere in the region.

President Barack Obama had pledged to accept just 10,000 Syrians between October 2015 and September 2016, but according to the analysis, currently less than 1,000 Syrians have come to the U.S.. Since January 2013, less than 3,000 have been offered refugee status by the U.S.

Erdogan: Turkey Killed Over 5,000 Kurdish Militants Since July

Since abandoning his nation’s ceasefire with the Kurdish PKK in July, Turkish President Recep Erdogan reports that the military has killed “more than 5,000 Kurdish militants,” and that 355 security forces have been killed.

This is dramatically more than had been reported over the course of the war since July, though of course the Turkish government often disputes accounts from human rights groups of civilian deaths, insisting every Kurd killed is a PKK fighter.

North Korea Fires Another Missile, Just as Obama Prepares for Trilateral Meeting

North Korea fired a short-range missile over the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said, citing a military official. ...

Leader Kim Jong-un has presided over a string of short-range missile launches in recent weeks in what state media has characterized as a response to United Nations sanctions imposed upon the isolated country for its fourth nuclear test in January.

Meanwhile, the White House said on Monday that US President Barack Obama would meet South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday to discuss North Korea's nuclear program.

The meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington will take place the same day Obama talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Entering Uncharted Territory in Washington

Washington increasingly seems like a new land, sporting something like a new system in the midst of our much-described polarized and paralyzed politics.  The national security state doesn’t seem faintly paralyzed or polarized to me.  Nor does the Pentagon.  ... So the other day, when this news came out, I stopped a moment to take it in.  If accurate, we killed 150 more or less nobodies (except to those who knew them) and maybe even a top leader or two in a country most Americans couldn’t locate on a map. ...

Remind me: On just what basis was this modest massacre carried out? After all, the U.S. isn’t at war with Somalia or with al-Shabab. Of course, Congress no longer plays any real role in decisions about American war making. ...

A new, informal constitution is being written in these years in Washington. No need for a convention or a new bill of rights. It’s a constitution focused on the use of power, especially military power, and it’s being written in blood.

These days, our government (the unparalyzed one) acts regularly on the basis of that informal constitution-in-the-making, committing Somalia-like acts across significant swathes of the planet.  In these years, we’ve been marrying the latest in wonder technology, our Hellfire-missile-armed drones, to executive power and slaughtering people we don’t much like in majority Muslim countries with a certain alacrity. By now, it’s simply accepted that any commander-in-chief is also our assassin-in-chief, and that all of this is part of a wartime-that-isn’t-wartime system, spreading the principle of chaos and dissolution to whole areas of the planet, leaving failed states and terror movements in its wake.

When was it, by the way, that “the people” agreed that the president could appoint himself assassin-in-chief, muster his legal beagles to write new "law" that covered any future acts of his (including the killing of American citizens), and year after year dispatch what essentially is his own private fleet of killer drones to knock off thousands of people across the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa?  Weirdly enough, after almost 14 years of this sort of behavior, with ample evidence that such strikes don’t suppress the movements Washington loathes (and often only fan the flames of resentment and revenge that help them spread), neither the current president and his top officials, nor any of the candidates for his office have the slightest intention of ever grounding those drones.

And when exactly did the people say that, within the country’s vast standing military, which now garrisons much of the planet, a force of nearly 70,000 Special Operations personnel should be birthed, or that it should conduct covert missions globally, essentially accountable only to the president (if him)? And what I find strangest of all is that few in our world find such developments strange at all.

Falkland Islands lie in Argentinian waters, UN commission rules

Argentina’s government is celebrating a decision by a UN commission to expand its maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean by 35% to include the disputed Falkland islands and beyond.

The Argentine foreign ministry said its waters had increased by 1.7 million square km (0.66 million square miles) and the decision will be key in its dispute with Britain over the islands. Argentina lost a brief, bloody 1982 war with Britain after Argentinian troops seized the South Atlantic archipelago that Latin Americans call the Malvinas.

The UN commission on the limits of the continental shelf sided with Argentina, ratifying the country’s 2009 report fixing the limit of its territory at 200 to 350 miles from its coast. ...

There was no immediate comment from the British government.

Final? SCOTUS splits on public unions’ fees

The most important labor union controversy to reach the Supreme Court in years sputtered to an end on Tuesday, with a four-to-four split, no explanation, and nothing settled definitely. The one-sentence result in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association will leave intact, but on an uncertain legal foundation, a system of “agency fees” for non-union teachers in California — with the legal doubts for public workers’ unions across the nation probably lingering until a ninth Justice joins the Court at some point in the future.

The practical effect was to leave undisturbed a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which had simply found itself bound by a prior Supreme Court precedent upholding such fees against constitutional challenge. The Ninth Circuit had before it a case specifically filed as a test of that precedent, and only the Supreme Court could revisit that prior ruling, binding on all lower courts.

The Court had heard the Friedrichs case on January 11 and, from all appearances then, it seemed to be on its way toward a five-to-four decision to declare that it would be unconstitutional for unions representing government employees to charge fees to workers they represent but who are not among its members, even when the fees cover the costs of normal union bargaining over working conditions, not lobbying or outright political advocacy. But the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month left the Court to either find a way still to decide the case, or to end it with an even split. ...

Lawyers involved said Tuesday that a rehearing petition will be filed.

Bullied by the Government: North Carolina Sued After Enacting Sweeping Anti-Transgender Law

North Carolina's Anti-LGBT Law Slapped with Federal Lawsuit Backed by ACLU

North Caroline has become ground zero in the fight for gay and transgender rights in the United States.

A sweeping new anti-LGBT law that was controversially passed during a special session of the state's legislature and swiftly signed into law last week excludes a person's sexual orientation from discrimination protection, nullifies anti-discrimination bills passed by local municipalities, sends discrimination claims to federal courts, and forces transgender students and adults who have not undergone sex-reassignment surgery to use the bathroom of their gender at birth.

On Monday, three plaintiffs — two transgender men and a lesbian woman — filed a federal lawsuit against HB2 that is being supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, Equality North Carolina, and Lambda Legal. The lawsuit, which names the state's Republican Governor Pat McRory, the University of North Carolina, and the state's attorney general as defendants, charges that HB2 "bans transgender people from accessing restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity and blocks local governments from protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender ('LGBT') people against discrimination in a wide variety of settings."

The plaintiffs say the law denies their right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment and violates Title IX, which they argue treats transgender bathroom discrimination as sex discrimination. The lawsuit says that gender dysphoria is "a serious medical condition that if left untreated can lead to clinical distress, debilitating depression, and even suicidal thought and acts," and notes that treatment for gender dysphoria includes permitting a person to live their life consistent with their gender identity, "including when accessing single-sex spaces like restrooms and locker rooms."

Bank of America, Microsoft Denounce North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law, but Fund Politicians Who Passed It

Bank of America, Lowe’s, Microsoft, and American Airlines all have two things in common: They have strongly criticized North Carolina’s new law that prevents local governments from prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and money from their affiliated political action committees helped put the politicians who passed the law in office.

Representatives from Bank of America and Lowe’s declined to answer questions from The Intercept about whether they plan to stop contributing to the responsible politicians. American Airlines’s corporate communications manager stated, “We don’t discuss future contributions.” Microsoft did not respond to inquiries before publication.

The North Carolina law, which has been widely condemned in the business world, as well as by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, was an initiative of the state’s Republican Party, which controls both houses of the state legislature. The bill passed the North Carolina House 83-25 and the state Senate 32-0 after all the Senate Democrats walked out; it was signed into law by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

Journalist John Pilger relates a chilling tale that indicates Truthout.com is part of the Democratic Party's gatekeeper system.

The Trump-Clinton Dilemma

On March 22 and later, my article, “Start of a New Cold War,” was published across the Web (including at Consortiumnews.com).

As has been my practice for years, I syndicated it to an international network, which included Truthout.com, the liberal American website. Truthout publishes some important journalism, not least Dahr Jamail’s outstanding corporate exposes. But Truthout rejected the piece because, said an editor, it had appeared on Counterpunch and had broken “guidelines.” I replied that this had never been a problem over many years and I knew of no guidelines.

My recalcitrance was then given another meaning. The article was reprieved provided I submitted to a “review” and agreed to changes and deletions made by Truthout’s “editorial committee.” The result was the softening and censoring of my criticism of Hillary Clinton, and the distancing of her from Trump. The following was cut:

“Trump is a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our skepticism. Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama … The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system … As presidential Election Day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies — just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about ‘hope.’”

The “editorial committee” clearly wanted me to water down my argument that Clinton represented a proven extreme danger to the world. Like all censorship, this was unacceptable.

Maya Schenwar, who runs Truthout, wrote to me that my unwillingness to submit my work to a “process of revision” meant she had to take it off her “publication docket.” Such is the gatekeeper’s way with words.



the horse race



Wary of Clinton, Sarandon and Silverman Make Case for Once-in-a-Lifetime Sanders Campaign

Actor and activist Susan Sarandon, an outspoken Sanders supporter, caught MSNBC's Chris Hayes by surprise during an interview on Monday when she told him she's not certain she could ever bring herself to vote for Hillary Clinton.

When Hayes lobbed the accusation that rejecting Clinton in a Trump v. Clinton general election might be "dangerous," Sarandon argued that a vote for Clinton is a vote for the status quo—which is itself a dangerous decision. "If you think that it’s pragmatic to shore up the status quo right now," Sarandon said, "then you’re not in touch with the status quo. The status quo is not working."

"If we continue the way we are with a militarized police force, with privatized prisons, with the death penalty, with the low minimum wage, with the threats to women’s rights," Sarandon continued, "and you think we can’t do something huge to turn that around because the country is not in good shape? If you’re in the middle class, it’s disappearing."

Sarandon's profound problems with Clinton's candidacy reflect a deep distrust of the former secretary of state shared by many voters, and signals potential trouble for the Democratic establishment as the election continues.

Comedian Sarah Silverman struck similar notes to Sarandon on Monday, as she released a new video urging viewers to vote for the Vermont senator.

As a feminist, Silverman says, she was once excited to vote for Clinton: "A Democratic woman president? Yes please! But she takes a lot of money from big corporations and banks," Silverman laments, "the very people she says she’s going to stand up to."

In contrast, "Bernie is not for sale. This man is running for president on a platform which is just a giant 'fuck you' to the billionaire class."

To those viewers who might fear Sanders' democratic socialism, Silverman retorts, "Good lord, don’t worry, under President Sanders you can still become a super-rich asshole! It’s just that your fellow hardworking citizens don’t have to feed their children cat food in order for you to do it."

Hillary Campaign Threatens Withholding Debates Over Bernie's “Tone"

Media Unimpressed as Sanders Barely Gets Seventy Per Cent of Vote

Bernie Sanders failed to impress major media outlets over the weekend as he barely managed to win seventy per cent of the vote in three western primaries.

The major cable networks briefly mentioned Sanders’s vote tallies in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii but noted that he ran out of steam well shy of eighty per cent.

“There’s no point in sugarcoating it,” one analyst put it. “Rough night for Sanders.”


#BernieMadeMeWhite: Meet the Black writer who called out the media for erasing people of color

Leslie Lee III is a writer and English teacher from Baton Rouge, LA who lives in Yokahama, Japan with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Taco. His writing ranges from essays and articles on politics and Japanese wrestling, to the novel he is working on with his father about Kentucky’s Black coal miners. But according to some sources, Lee does not actually exist. He’s a figment of the imagination. Because he’s both Black and a supporter of Bernie Sanders.

The nice thing about the notion of the unbearable whiteness of being a Sanders supporter is that it doesn’t need to be based in reality. On Saturday, for example, CNN attributed Sanders’ landslide victories in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington primaries to the whitey-mcwhiteyness of the states:

These caucus states — largely white and rural — are the type of places Sanders traditionally does well. In order to win the nomination, he must replicate this success in other, more ethnically diverse states that hold primaries, as he did in Michigan last month. In theory, it’s possible. But the reality is tough.


Lee explained, “The common narrative in this election that Bernie has a ‘minority problem’ or that all his supporters are ‘bros’ is pervasive, and insulting to the POCs [People of Color] and women who support [him].” But, “it hit a peak… when Hawaii, the least white state in the nation, retroactively became white or ‘not diverse’ due to the fact that Bernie won it. So, I started #BernieMadeMeWhite.”


Bernie Sanders as Commander-in-Chief

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s landslide victories in Washington State, Alaska and Hawaii on Saturday coincided with a long-awaited signal that he may finally be ready to challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the “Commander-in-Chief” question, which has been regarded as one of her key strengths.

In what may be the most striking campaign commercial of the presidential race, the Sanders campaign released an ad, entitled “The Cost of War” and featuring Hawaii’s Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who endorsed Sanders not just as her preference for President but as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military.

... Perhaps her most important statement comes at the end of the 90-second commercial when she says: “My name is Tulsi Gabbard and I support Bernie Sanders to be our next President and Commander-in-Chief.”

The phrase “Commander-in-Chief” is one that Sanders has largely sidestepped in the early phases of the Democratic presidential race, conceding Clinton’s superior qualifications on foreign policy though questioning her judgment when she voted for the Iraq War in 2002. Yet, what the Gabbard ad seems to recognize is that Sanders’s campaign could rally a substantial part of the Democratic “base” and win over many “regular” Democrats by challenging Clinton on her hawkish proclivity for “regime change” wars. ...

Many Democrats have a deep distrust of Clinton who – though now highlighting her more “progressive” positions – seems eager to “pivot to the center” once she nails down the nomination, a hunger that was reflected in her pandering speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention last week.

Many neoconservatives and “liberal interventionists” now see Clinton as the vessel carrying their hopes for more “regime change” wars. ...

Though much of Clinton’s neocon-style warmongering is unpopular with the Democratic “base,” Sanders has treaded lightly in these areas during his primary challenge to her long-anticipated coronation as the Democratic presidential nominee. ...

With Gabbard praising Sanders as her choice for “Commander-in-Chief,” she implicitly seeks to neutralize Clinton’s supposed strong suit – her foreign-policy experience – and transform it into a weakness.

The question now is whether Gabbard’s assistance to Sanders has come too late.

Obama says media must ask tougher questions of presidential candidates

President Barack Obama on Monday laid some of the blame for the tone of the presidential campaign on political journalism that has been pinched by shrinking newsroom budgets and cheapened by a focus on retweets and likes on social media.

In a speech to a journalism awards dinner, Syracuse University’s Toner prize for excellence in political reporting, Obama urged journalists to ask tougher questions of the candidates vying to be president.

He voiced dismay over the vulgar rhetoric, violence at rallies and unrealistic campaign pledges that have continually grabbed headlines, in a thinly veiled reference to Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

“The number one question I’m getting as I travel around the world or talk to world leaders right now is, what is happening in America about our politics?” Obama said, describing international alarm over whether the United States will continue to function effectively.

This is an excellent analysis based on the Wapo explainer from the other day, “How Clinton’s email scandal took root.” It's worth a full look, but this part is worth emphasizing:

Hillary Clinton’s Email Hairball Summarized in 11 Points (a Test of Presidential Character)

From the summary:

11. Clinton did what Clinton wanted to do despite FOIA regulations, security concerns, etc. She wanted to bring her private Blackberry into her office and use a single device abroad. And that is exactly what she did.

Any other government official engaging in such widespread misconduct would be fired, possibly prosecuted, and would lose her security clearance.

Lambert here:

Clinton’s email hairball foreshadows her character as President. As ScottW comments: “Clinton did what Clinton wanted to do.” And that’s regardless of what she said, and despite advice given to her in good faith. So if Clinton wants TPP, a Grand Bargain, or war in [insert country here], that’s what she’ll go for, regardless of what she says on the trail, or the counsel of the wise.

Clinton’s email hairball foreshadows the nature of her administration. As WaPo says:

From the earliest days, Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary’s desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show.

Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations [i.e., broke] governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server.

In other words, Clinton’s staffers, rather like Erlichman and Haldeman, regard themselves not as public servants, but as Clinton’s servants.



the evening greens


Drilling-Induced 'Frackquakes' Threatening Millions Across Central US

Oil and gas drilling has made parts of the central United States as dangerous as the most earthquake-prone regions of California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), exposing millions of people to the risk of human-induced earthquakes, known as "frackquakes."

According to new maps released on Monday by the USGS, roughly 7 million people who live and work in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arkansas face "potential for damaging shaking from induced seismicity," which the USGS notes is triggered primarily by wastewater disposal from oil and gas drilling activities.

"Within a few portions of the [Central and Eastern U.S.], the chance of damage from all types of earthquakes is similar to that of natural earthquakes in high-hazard areas of California," the USGS states, with Oklahoma being the most prone to induced earthquakes and having the largest at-risk population.

Oklahoma has seen a rapid increase in earthquakes registering at or above a 3.0 magnitude per year, surging from 109 in 2013 to over 900 in 2015.

Alaska volcano spews ash cloud stretching 400 miles, grounding flights

One of Alaska’s most active volcanoes has emitted a 37,000ft (11,300-metre) ash cloud that has grounded flights, affecting thousands of travelers and cutting off remote communities in the west and north.

Pavlof volcano erupted on Sunday afternoon but strong winds on Monday pushed the cloud higher and into the heart of the state until it stretched over more than 400 miles (650km).

“It’s right in the wheelhouse of a lot of flights crisscrossing Alaska,” said geologist Chris Waythomas, of the US Geological Survey (USGS), part of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, along with the University of Alaska and the state Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. ...

The USGS raised the volcano alert to its highest level, which warns of hazards both in the air and on the ground.

Faking Out Poachers With 3-D-Printed Sea Turtle Eggs

They come by night and they steal the future.

Every year, poachers in Nicaragua and other countries wait for cover of darkness and then make their way onto the beaches where endangered sea turtles have just laid their eggs. Working quickly, they dig up the precious eggs—hundreds at a time—and disappear. Some of the eggs turn up a few days later, priced as low as 20 cents apiece in local bars. Others travel thousands of miles to the United States or China, where they can sell for upwards of $150 each.

Exactly how the stolen eggs get from a beach in Nicaragua to a restaurant in Hong Kong remains unknown, frustrating efforts to combat the black market trade. A new project hopes to solve that.

The nonprofit Paso Pacifico is in the process of developing an innovative fake egg to help conservationists better understand—and maybe stop—the illegal trade. The eggs will contain a GSM transmitter hidden inside a 3-D-printed shell made to look exactly like what poachers would find within a fresh sea turtle nest. The fakes, each the size of a ping-pong ball, will then be tracked over cellular networks along their smuggling routes to their final destinations.


Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Beware the Blue State Model: How the Democrats Created a "Liberalism of the Rich".

Obama Covering Up Saudi Role in 9/11 Financing

If Donald Trump Is the Only One Talking About This Issue, That's Our Problem

New $25 Million Fraud on Wall Street Is Making Some Rich Guys Nervous

Companies Are Leaving the West Bank as International Boycott Campaign Gains Ground


A Little Night Music

Tarheel Slim & Little Ann - Can't Stay Away

Tarheel Slim & Little Ann - It's Too Late

Tarheel Slim - Wildcat tamer

Tarheel Slim - So Sweet So Sweet

Tarheel Slim & Little Ann - Security

Tarheel Slim & Ann - You Make Me Feel So Good

The Larks - Rockin' In The Rocket Room



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This post came up at 1:46 pm MST. We just came back from lunch.

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"We've done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."

joe shikspack's picture

heh, i am not officially here until evening.

some time ago, back when i used to post at 7 or 8pm, people asked me if i could post it earlier so that they could read all the news stories. i said i could, because i usually finish it earlier in the day, so i did - and here it is.

back when there were many fewer posts every day, that worked out ok for everybody.

as the site content grows, i may have to rethink it.

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Bisbonian's picture

You still repost it in the Evening, right? Make it sticky, or something?

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

joe shikspack's picture

i make it sticky some nights when it has scrolled a long way down the page, like tonight.

if it's working for everybody, that's good enough for me.

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mimi's picture

if you post early in the afternoon, people can come and read it. When you come back in the evening at eight, one is ready to comment, because one has already read everything.

If you post in the evening around eight, it takes a lot of time to read so that one can comment. Usually I was not finished reading before ten o'clock. Then everybody is tired and probably not that inclined anymore to write a comment and you may be too tired to answer. I like it if you post in the afternoon. I would say to those, who wonder why you post earlier, that the EB doesn't get miraculously lost, just because it has been posted earlier. It even stays there for eternity. Smile

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mimi

joe shikspack's picture

thanks for your thoughts on the matter. Smile

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if you post early in the afternoon, people can come and read it. When you come back in the evening at eight, one is ready to comment, because one has already read everything.

But it's not necessarily because I read everything.
Ya see, I type REALLY bad and it takes awhile to my posts compose.

Sorry mimi, no offense or criticism intend. some times my funny bone gets tickled and I act on it. Smile

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With their hearts they turned to each others heart for refuge
In troubled years that came before the deluge
*Jackson Browne, 1974, Before the Deluge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SX-HFcSIoU

Raggedy Ann's picture

I can't get it at home. I leave here at 4:00, so I can really enjoy it for an hour or so and read all the stuff.

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

joe shikspack's picture

i had no plans to do anything hasty. thanks for your input! Smile

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stevej's picture

Very disappointed to that Truthout appears to be buckling under pressure from Team Clinton -always thought of them as on of the good guys. Ah well.

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“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” -Voltaire

joe shikspack's picture

it's always at election times that the mask drops for a lot of allegedly left/liberal sites. i've watched in fascination as sites that i thought were not embedded in the party start easing off of criticisms, accentuating the positive, cranking up the old rhetoric about third parties being spoilers and rounding up votes for the democrats - even when the democrats on offer are neoliberal jackasses.

it's a great time to keep your eyes open.

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CenPhx's picture

I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but I find it disconcerting that various news sources are censoring negative posts about Clinton.

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joe shikspack's picture

this is far from the first time that this has come up. democrats have to various degrees managed to exercise a great deal of control over the veal pen.

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Shahryar's picture

we have a newspaper that comes out every Friday, called "Street Roots", which is sold by homeless people, or semi-homeless...you know, people who would otherwise be asking for change. This paper gives them some dignity because they're offering something of value. Street Roots features articles about the plight of the homeless, the problems with gentrification, poetry written by the down and out and interviews with persons of interest like Ursula LeGuin or Gloria Steinem.

In the most recent issue Steinem blamed Bill Maher for her ridiculous statement that young women like Bernie because that's where the boys are. He goaded her! She had to say it! And she still likes Hillary.

The list of people and organizations that like Hillary is fascinating. I'll never do anything to help the Human Rights Campaign again (to name one place).

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joe shikspack's picture

heh, i'm sure that maher had his hand up gloria's back and did his ventriloquism thing.

i've added a few names to my shit list this year, too.

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OLinda's picture

and really he didn't. He even moved on, instead of any followup.

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If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

joe shikspack's picture

heh, that was snark.

i can't imagine anybody forcing gloria steinem to make deprecatory remarks about women, regardless of their age.

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OLinda's picture

I see it now. Thank you for letting me know. I see now on re-read that Shahryar is being sarcastic as well rather than reporting something he believes. Don't know what's the matter with me sometimes.

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If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

joe shikspack's picture

i was only trying to say that my comment that maher was using steinem as a ventriloquist's dummy was snark.

i'm not sure what you took from it, but i'm sorry for saying whatever i said that you took amiss.

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OLinda's picture

Yes. My first 3 sentences (incl. subject line) are about your snark, and realizing now that it was snark, (since you told me). The next sentence is just commenting that Shahryar probably didn't mean it either.

I hope we can get it together and get more attuned to each other, joe!!

Maybe it's the time zones! Or some other zones.

Still always nice to see you. Smile Hope you are enjoying a nice evening.

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If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

Bisbonian's picture

Where have I seen those initials before?

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Unabashed Liberal's picture

drive-by before I walk 'the B.'

Here's a nice story that came down on my cell phone. Full disclosure--I'm a major rabbit lover.

Meet the world's longest rabbit Jeff - who is the same size as the average seven-year-old

19:55, 27 MAR 2016, updated 20:31, 27 MAR 2016
By Clemmie Moodie

World's Longest Rabbit  (Jeff).png
[
World's biggest bunny rabbit with Clemmie Moodie, Mirropix]

. . . The 18-month-old Continental Giant has just overtaken the Guinness World Record holder – his dad, Darius.

But both are about to be eclipsed by Jeff’s baby sister, Enya, who at five months already stands proud at a gigantic 3ft 3in and is on course to be the planet’s first five-footer. . . .

The 18-month-old Continental Giant has just overtaken the Guinness World Record holder – his dad, Darius.

But both are about to be eclipsed by Jeff’s baby sister, Enya, who at five months already stands proud at a gigantic 3ft 3in and is on course to be the planet’s first five-footer.

Annette has been breeding supersize bunnies for 10 years and credits their growth with a secret ingredient: broccoli stalks. . . .

"They each have their own characters and are very bright. They act more like dogs than rabbits. . . .

Thanks for another excellent edition of EB, Joe.

Have a nice evening, Everyone!

(Music City) Mollie, C99P & Daily Kos
elinkarlsson@WordPress


"The standard of living of the average American has to decline. I don't think you can escape that."--Paul Volcker, The New York Times, October 18, 1979, Page 1.

“If we can divide the electorate this way, we can have them expending their energies fighting amongst themselves, over issues that for us, have no meaning whatsoever."--USA Bankers Magazine, August 25, 1924

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

nice. well, i'll be hopping off to dinner, then. Smile

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Bisbonian's picture

No kidding. That's a major rabbit.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

Unabashed Liberal's picture

but we'll have to wait until some personal matters are completely taken care of. (Also, we have to consider the compatibility issue with Mister B--that would have to be tested.)

Here's a little bit about them.

Continental Giant Rabbit

Mollie

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Crider's picture

Are you living in the US? They are scarcer than hen's teeth here. An American rabbit breeder, Bob Whitman, imported several pairs to Texas in 2006 but he died a few years after that and the fate of his rabbits is unknown to me.

Anyway, I'm into rabbits and especially big bunnies. My avatar photo is of a French Lop I called Big Bunny. But he was only 14 lbs.

I now have an American Blue bunny I got from an animal shelter. Americans are quite rare. I don't know how she ended up at an animal shelter!

Rosie.jpg

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

several months of the year [after Mr M retires].

Hey, always liked your bunny avatar--the lop ears are adorable. Your blue bunny is very handsome, too. As far as looking into the Continental Giants, if we did go through with trying to get one, I'd sorta like a light or dark steel one, if possible.

As it is, most the articles that I've read are about Continentals in Europe. We're still just reading up on them (as a rabbit breed).

Let me make it clear--I'm far from a rabbit expert. In two locations, we feed several wild 'rabbit regulars'--along with birds, squirrels, and even an oppossum--that frequent our feeding areas. I just love them. Especially since one ran up to me when I was putting out rabbit pellets, hay, etc., several years ago. I almost fainted!

Wink

(It was a very young rabbit--must not have developed any fear instincts.)

Anyhoo, we've got personal matters that will probably keep us occupied for months, or maybe the next year or two. So for now, I'm just reading up on Continentals, and watching for articles about them.

Since your 'rabbit knowledgeable,' I'll be sure to pick your brain, before we make a final decision (if you don't mind).

Mr M thinks we should start out with a regular-sized rabbit, first. But, from what I've read, it sounds as though the Continentals are more laid back, and easier to handle. (Mr M had two pet rabbits growing up, who lived for about 16 years--died with a few weeks of each other.)

Any advice you might care to render, I'm all ears! (no pun intended)

(Music City) Mollie, C99P & Daily Kos
elinkarlsson@WordPress


"The obstacle is the path."--Zen Proverb

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Crider's picture

That young rabbit losing fear and approaching you.

All the biggest breeds are quite gentle, that I know. I suppose you've seen this vid of a soldier with his pet Continental Giant.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

Wow! That rabbit looks as big, or bigger than Jeff (that I posted); and, just like I've read, super 'laid back.'

But, hey, that's okay--we have a 62-pound 'lap dog,' now--don't guess a Continental would weigh more than that.

Wink

'M'

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Citizen Of Earth's picture

Uh oh. Kos just dropped a Turd In The Punch Bowl in OPOL's Bernie diary.
I guess one person's “malicious criticism” , is just another person's Facts about Hellery. Hahaha.

The-OPOL-Report-The-Birdie-Sanders-edition
http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/3/29/1507538/-The-OPOL-Report-The-B...

------------------------
KOS
Mar 29 · 05:15:11 PM

Heh, so I guess this is the “how far can we push Markos” strategy? Congratulations! You did it by explicitly violating the “malicious criticism” rule

You don’t like the restriction, it’s a big internet! This is the time when someone will come in and offer links to Reddit and other sites. If this is the sort of shit you need to get you through the day, then I heartily recommend you follow those links and stay at those sites, because I refuse to let this site become a cesspool for anti-Clinton (or anti-Sanders) hatred. That that fucking shit elsewhere.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

detroitmechworks's picture

Ban him, or fuck off with your bullshit. OPOL is the only reason most folks even bother going to your site anymore, and you fucking know it.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

PhilJD's picture

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Hillary Clinton 2016: I'm a proud progmoderate!

mimi's picture

restrictions can go to hell. It's simple violation of freedom of (political) speech. If you can't accept freedom of speech on your blog (OPOL is in no way out of bounce in the way he expresses himself, au contraire he says things in a very artful manner), one shouldn't run a a political blog.

Wow. Putting OPOL on time-out for WHAT exactly? He didn't shout, wasn't obscene, didn't insult anyone personally. He supports Bernie Sanders. Is that his violation of your beautiful restrictions? You call that a political blog? I know I don't have to tell you what this is. You know what you are doing. Live with it. Rest assured not many sane people will forgive you for this.

Okay, Mr. Moulitsas, I am mad. I bet you a lot of people will put you on time-out in their reading patterns. This time-out is an insult to your readers and to many other of your very excellent writers, who have now to think about what they write and are in need to self-censor themselves to "obide the Moulitsas rules". Shame on you.

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mimi

Citizen Of Earth's picture

I wonder what the Daily Kos Terms And Conditions for sign-up said back in 2006, when OPOL paid for membership? "We reserve the right to boot you ass if you say something we don't like." Hahaha.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

FreakFlagFly's picture

Same time, same diary with OPOL.
Shit is OOH

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detroitmechworks's picture

A Time Out? Really?

Oh, REALLY tough and manly...

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

PhilJD's picture

who rec'd OPOL. That'd show 'em!

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Hillary Clinton 2016: I'm a proud progmoderate!

It's been done. He's being passive aggressive. He didn't ban me, just took away my mojo and ratings ability. One flagged comment and BAN.

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OLinda's picture

and at 131 comments, all of them were supportive of OPOL and/or against kos, except kos's comment. LOL. Also someone said "OPOL, will you marry me?" and he said "sure." Smile

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If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

Citizen Of Earth's picture

OPOL Marriage Open Thread coming right up. Or should we wait til OPOL gets back from time out so he can comment in it. Biggrin
And detroitmechworks is right, I rarely stop to read at DKos anymore unless I see an OPOL diary. He should be a Front Pager.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

OLinda's picture

#ToneOPOLdown

LOL

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If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

Raggedy Ann's picture

here. He's tried until he's been ousted! So, Mr. Ileteverythingrolloffmyback doesn't really do that, does he? Guess he has a breaking point too. Maybe I need to come up with a diary. Hmmmmm................

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

detroitmechworks's picture

Mr. Moulitas,

We are concerned about the number of anti-Hillary Diaries given prominent display on your site.

Fix It.

Now.

Sincerely,
Your Friendly DLC Handler

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Citizen Of Earth's picture

You jest, but that may be part of Kos's Freak-Out. There seem to be a lot more Bernie diaries on the Wreck than Hillery diaries.
Hey people like Bernie, Waddayagonnado. LOL Smile

Besides, just stating facts about Hillery's record does come off sounding "malicious". Whose fault is that. Hahaha.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

mimi's picture

I can't believe that Markos is so unable to express himself more appropriately and more reasonably than that. To threaten to ban OPOL and tell him to go elsewhere is FUBAR. That is just too weird to be just a lapse of emotional balance, but done for another reason, for which I probably wouldn't have any respect.

What a shame.

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mimi

hecate's picture

anyone, if he feels sufficiently scorned. Once upon a time he banned Armando, and Armando was in real life his friend, and had been his lawyer.

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mimi's picture

I won't. If Armando was his friend and lawyer, it would be pretty unusual to get so scorned by your friend to be in need to ban him. Friends scorn you? That doesn't sound like what friends would do, no? Armando sounded like a pain in the behind to lay-man's people way back in the days, pretty often, but I blamed myself for thinking about Armando that way, because I didn't understand his "legal arguments". I never knew he was Markos friend and lawyer. I thought Adam B was and is his lawyer. So, they made up? Armando is back since quite a while.

Ok, I wish them all luck. May they be happy to ban all the people who talk their mind about a political candidate. That's so idiotic that I don't want to say anymore about it.

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mimi

hecate's picture

Armando would have to act like a decent human being on the blog, like everyone else. Armando refused, because he didn't believe in "civility." Armando posted a GBCW diary, that went on for three days, at the end of which he started spinning spun CT theories about various FPers. So the site pulled his plug. He went off to Talk Left for three years, where he worshipped Hillary Clinton; he and his fellow Hillary-worshipper Turkana would mope in the dead threads there late at night, grousing about Daily Kos. Kind of like people here do now. ; ) Jeralyn made Armando be civil at Talk Left, mostly. And when he returned to Daily Kos, he agreed to be civil there, too. Mostly. His lawyerness for Markos, that predated Adam.

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mimi's picture

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mimi

hecate's picture

is Cro-Magnon. He predates civilization. He would rather crush skulls.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

when he started targeting me, turning up every time a diary or comment of mine gained traction to use his undeniable verbal skills to paint me as a misogynist.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Like Denise Velez, there's some people I just don't want to be around.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

cybrestrike's picture

Ever since that "Why are you here?" diary she posted last year, she's on my "Do not read" list. It's a short list over at TOP, but if someone writes something so egregious that I put the author on the list...it's pretty egregious.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

DEO started rubbing me the wrong way a while ago, but it was her outrageous support for and defense of Phoenix Woman's "English Only" stink bomb that finally put her on my "Waste Of Time" list.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

mimi's picture

her comments and the comments of her sisters and brothers, which act more like her comrades in arms, who have pledged a loyalty oath to defend her territory no matter what ... for ... or ... against ... something.

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mimi

Citizen Of Earth's picture

Oh yeah, Denise O Velez is the absolute worst. The site mood got a lot nastier after she started posting. That's why I left. All the accusations and caustic comments against anyone who dared to criticize Obama. Good riddance. Life is too short to deal with nasty people. Smile

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

Gerrit's picture

a coward in reality. He better not show up here. I'd reach through f*cking intertubes and strangle the bastard.

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

PhilJD's picture

of TOP, but I just can't figure out what he's sees as "malicious criticism" there. Despite his lip-service boilerplate about "or anti-Sanders hatred," I haven't noticed him parachuting in like this into any of the truly nasty hit jobs on Bernie that infest that site.

Quelle surprise.

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Hillary Clinton 2016: I'm a proud progmoderate!

detroitmechworks's picture

But then, we all knew that.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Miep's picture

"I know you're baiting me and that's not allowed," but it wouldn't have the same impact as lying through his teeth.

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Stay on track. Stay in lane. Don't throw rocks.

joe shikspack's picture

i was similarly confused. i skimmed the diary and didn't see any outrageous criticisms of hillary. well, unless recounting her actions in office or positions on issues is considered an out-of-bounds criticism these days?

go figure.

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I would guess that the opening paragraphs where OPOL is scathing in his criticism of demanding that we support any candidate just because they have the "D", even if they've betrayed everything we all thought "D" was supposed to be about was what rankled Kos.

Kos' patriarchy is showing.

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Kos seems far more interested in protecting the Democratic establishment than promoting progressive ideals. Unless you're a member of the club you're apparently not worth listening to. That kind of thinking, along with all the corruption, is why I left the Democratic party.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

Trying to look OPOL's diary from the perspective of the owner of TOP, but I just can't figure out what he's sees as "malicious criticism" there.

Simpliciter, amice: anything which substantively criticizes HRC at all constitutes "malicious criticism".

Bomb Diablo Bomb

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

joe shikspack's picture

great to see you!

heh, the skin on that one, it is thin!

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

Hi Joe,
Yeah, I heard a rumor that Kos is shopping the site around for sale. He better sell it fast while there are still any progressives/independents left. Smile I hadn't stopped in there for six months until the March 15 Ultimatum crap -- just to see what was happening. I doubt OPOL gives a flying f___. Biggrin And looks like Kos's loss is C99's gain. Hahaha.

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

Crider's picture

I had no choice but to flag his comment. We'll see if that gets me banned from his enterprise.

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Shahryar's picture

He's an interesting character, in the sense that our perceptions of him are so different from his own.

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Bisbonian's picture

That'll be worth going.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

kharma's picture

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There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties.. This...is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.--John Adams

joe shikspack's picture

have a great evening!

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Great music as always, joe! May I ask - what ARE our leaders doing these days? Very thought provoking!
Enjoy your evening!
Rock on!

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

joe shikspack's picture

what ARE our leaders doing these days?

i fear that the ne'er do wells that have been inserted into office in our managed demockery are just doing the 1%'s business.

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hecate's picture

That's a step, the UN finding the Falklands lie within Argentinian, rather than British, waters. The next step is to find they lie solely within Falklands waters.

And how nice for the serial killers of Russia, that they can now sell more killing machines, so there can be more dead people, more broken things, scattered across the planet. They must be so proud.

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joe shikspack's picture

i think that the un got a clue by examining the continental shelf upon which the malvinas islands rest. it seems to connected to argentina rather than that former empire's land in another hemisphere.

what, you think that the people of the islands might prefer independence to being connected to an empire in its final stages of rot or a country freshly reposessed by neoliberal jackasses who will in short order relieve the lower classes of their income, pensions and other government benefits and float enormous loans secured by the remaining assets of the country?

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divineorder's picture

Hope everyone is headed for a smooth landing tonight!

IMG_3682_0.JPG

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

that is a gorgeous bird! did you perchance ask if he'd like to visit birdie sanders?

heh, i've made a smooth landing in my living room. i hope that you and jb have similarly found a comfy spot to land in.

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Kudos. Oh and thanks for the support over at you know where.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Gerrit's picture

after reading RantingRooster's very righteous article. I knew you'd have excellent music and came straight here to listen and calm down. Best wishes mate,

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Resilience: practical action to improve things we can control.
3D+: developing language for postmodern spirituality.

joe shikspack's picture

glad to be of service. Smile

have a great evening!

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TrueBlueinWDC's picture

re: sordid history of the GOS. Haven't been back for a few days now, feels good. Hope OPOL comes here as well as several others I see active on Reddit but not here. Sad

Appreciate all the news and have definitely come to depend on them during my short time on c99. Thx.

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"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change." Stephen Hawking

NEW: http://www.twitter.com/trueblueinwdc

joe shikspack's picture

opol is here. he's been signed up for the site for quite a while and has xposted a bunch of his posts here. perhaps we will see more of him for a while, now.

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If Bernie loses the nomination, I may retire from blogging and politics and devote myself to art. Until then though, I'm a threat to write something and post it.

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Citizen Of Earth's picture

Hahaha. Give 'em Hell OPOL. Truth to Power! Biggrin

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Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake Friend to the Working Class. Real Asshole.

joe shikspack's picture

cool beans, man!

i have the feeling that if you "retire" and devote yourself to art, it will have a way of articulating the themes and ideas that drove you to support bernie. Smile

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very apt. The best phrase to sum up the smoke & mirrors game or the freak show that is Merkan Demockery is Alex Carey's book title "Taking the risk out of Democracy".

Thanks for an even more awesome eclectic roundup tonight Joe. The excerpt from Thomas Frank's book is very damning and is a scathing indictment of the Liberal Class. Boston, NYC,Silicon Valley all brought to us by the Liberal Class. The neocon/neoliberal policies form "The Elite Consensus" which is a title of another superb book.

And Andy Borowitz is as AB does - nails the absurdity of the other freak show that is the lamestream media.

And Truthout joins the Death march of the Liberal Class :-(. I was pleased that they pay their interns, are not afraid of reporting on Israeli occupation (in addition to other awesome reporting by Dahr Jamail etc). And then comes this. While I have seen some write pro-Democratic party pieces, the censorship of Pilger is awful. Seems we can't have it all Sad

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joe shikspack's picture

i was very disappointed to see truthout attempting to censor pilger. i had thought better of them.

that's the one thing about the election silly season, it is a time of revelations about character.

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snoopydawg's picture

But mostly Cheney elevated executive power and rightly so. Now Obama can use his drones in any country he wants without authorization from congress. Not that they would say no, but that's not the point.
And he can assassinate Americans just because he doesn't like what he was saying. No charges, no trial, just drop a bomb on him. And then for fun kill his son too. On what grounds?
And if Hillary or Trump also gets that executive power, the world is going to be screwed.

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In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

joe shikspack's picture

yes, it's sad. our system has created a monster. despite the best intentions of the founding generation, our system has devolved into an oligarchy where a small elite is given unchecked, secret powers that no man should be trusted with.

sorry, mr. franklin, we couldn't keep it. they stole it and we have failed to assert our power to take it back.

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